Financial lessons from Bollywood

Don’t just look for entertainment when it comes to Hindi movies. Here’s the financial wisdom some of the blockbusters can dispense.

Baahubali: “Yudh mein saikadon ko maarne waala nayak hai … lekin joh kisi ek ke bhi pran bachaye woh devta hai.”

Lesson: Be greedy and fearful at the right time. Try not to be like Baahubali’s brother, Bhallaladeva, whose greed for the kingdom proves to be his undoing. Baahubali (Prabhas) on the other hand knows when to covet, the reason he makes gains. So be greedy at the bottom of the market cycle and fearful at the top. Not the other way round.

Sholay: “Yeh haath humko de de Thakur…”

Lesson: If you’ve been burnt by the market, don’t stop investing. You think you are doomed just because you lost money in the stock market once? Think Thakur (Sanjeev Kumar) without arms. The poor man outsources his work to Jai (Amitabh Bachchan) and Veeru (Dharmendra). And gets it done. Surely you can repose your faith in a fund manager and continue investing.

Deewar: “Aaj mere pass building hai, property hai, bank balance hai… kya hai tumhare paas?”

Lesson: Don’t invest in Ponzi schemes. and always buy a term plan. Not having your mom with you will be the least of your concerns if you invest in a Ponzi scheme. For, like Vijay (Amitabh Bachchan), you may have the swag and cash initially, but will lose it in the end. Also, make sure you buy life insurance. If Vijay’s father had bought one, the poor kid would not have had to rough it out. Or have lost his money and much coveted ‘maa’….

Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge: “Bade bade Deshon mein Choti Choti baatein hoti rehti hain…”

Lesson: For good equity returns, be focused and invest for the long term. Be as persistent with your equity investments as Raj Malhotra (Shah Rukh Khan) is about marrying Simran (Kajol). Do not be sidetracked by short-term market noises— Simran’s engagement to Kuljeet (Parmeet Seethi)—and stay invested for the long term. The rewards will be well worth the wait.

Kal Ho Naa Ho: “Aaj ek dua aur maang lo, aaj ek ansoon aur pee lo, aaj ek zindagi aur jee lo, kya pata, kal ho naa ho…”

Lesson: Write a will and buy all forms of insurance. Take a leaf from Aman Mathur (Shah Rukh Khan) and don’t take life for granted. Afflicted by cancer, he plays matchmaker for Naina Kapur (Preity Zinta) and Rohit Patel (Saif Ali Khan), and secures their future. You secure yours by buying critical illness and basic health cover. Also make sure you write a will.

Mughal-e-Azam: “Phool to murjha jaate hain lekin kante daaman thaam lete hain…”

Lesson: Don’t get too attached to loss-making investments. Love and the enchanting Anarkali (Madhubala) may seem like worthy causes to pursue. But it’s best not to emulate Prince Salim (Dilip Kumar) if too much love threatens your investments. If you know your stocks or funds have been incurring massive losses, it’s best to get rid of these at the earliest.

Dil Chahta Hai: “Aaj Pooja, kal koi dooja..”

Lesson: Don’t invest in products you don’t understand. Also, beware of missellers. Be Akash Malhotra (Aamir) when it comes to investing. He doesn’t believe in or understands love and, hence, refuses to be in a serious relationship. Only when he falls in love with Shalini (Preity Zinta) does he make a commitment. Do likewise. Unless you know how a Ulip or thematic funds work, don’t put your money in them. Also like Sameer (Saif Ali Khan), do not be conned by agents and bank representatives.

3 Idiots: “Bachcha Kabil bano, Kabil … kamyabi toh saali jhak maarke peeche bhagegi.”

Lesson: Aal izz well if you have the passion for your career, but also work hard and have serious talent. Of course, you’ll enjoy studying if you love it, but aal izz not going to be well if you blindly carry over this philosophy to your profession. So listen to Rancho (Aamir Khan), but make sure you are either as talented as him or Farhan (R. Madhavan). And always, always be diligent.

Lagaan: “Dugna lagaan jabardasti nahi hai? Bhar sake hai koi? Ee bipda nahi hai Mukhiya ji, ee hai mauka.”

Lesson: Don’t be forced to pay taxes or fees due to ignorance. Be like Bhuvan. Learn & act. Defying the Champaner villagers, Bhuvan (Aamir Khan) braves up to learning and playing cricket to avoid paying the taxes imposed by the British. You, too, be on the ball and read up about tax deductions and bank charges to avoid paying them.

PK: “Humka laagat hai bhagwan se baat kare ka communication system is gola ka total lul ho chuka hai”.

Lesson: Don’t follow the masses blindly. Conduct your own research before investing. Just because the earthlings believe in God doesn’t mean PK (Aamir Khan) has to as well. He needs proof and conducts research. You should, too, if you want to gain from your market investments. Don’t develop the herd mentality.

(Source: The Economic Times Wealth, January 8-14, 2018)

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